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Professor Layton and the Curious Village Impressions

Just finished Professor Layton and the Curious Village on DS. The art was great, the music was excellent and overall the presentation was utterly charming… There’s a refined, very Francais Triplets of Belleville thing going on.

Dialectical realism: How Assassin's Creed killed its own potential

Videogames are filled with absurd contradictions; and one of the most pervasive of these by far has to be the inability of game characters to interact realistically with their environments. It's precisely the inclusion of environmental interaction that makes Assassin's Creed so special. It's also a terrible shame that, having created such a remarkably realistic and tactile world, the game goes to such great lengths to undermine that very realism.

Super Smash Bros. adventure

Because of a visual-spatial disability, I don't know how to get many places on my own; I wasn't able to get anywhere alone at all until I graduated from college. This kind of freedom is still new to me, and going anywhere without my mom or a friend makes me all giddy, like a 16-year-old with a driver's license.

Vibration enhances emotional impact of videogames, Swedish study suggests

Despite former Sony exec Phil Harrison's ridiculous assertion that rumble is a "last generation feature," most gamers never really doubted the relevance of force feedback to videogames. As if Sony's recent flip-flop with the DualShock 3 wasn't confirmation enough of this fact, we can now point to science as well.

How NOT to do DLC

Recently I wrote about Overlord for the Xbox 360 getting a new downloadable expansion for the singleplayer campaign called Raising Hell.

Why game criticism doesn’t exist

Game designer and academic, Greg Costikyan, recently renewed the debate on the importance of game criticism and the lack thereof in a recent post at . I'd be lying if I didn't admit that every time there's a call for serious-minded game criticism (not game reviews), it pisses me off quite a bit.

Videogame technology used to model crowd behavior in military training program

While videogame technology has been used before to model enemy behavior in military training simulations, it has yet to be applied to modeling the behavior of noncombatants in war zones. But that's all about to change thanks to Dr. Frederick McKenzie and his colleagues, whose research is presented in the March issue of Simulation & Gaming.

Complete Culdcept Geekery

So, after what was a playtime that ran on for far too long, I finished (but not completed) the game tonight. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with it, and definitely had a good time in terms of the singleplayer mode. Apart from a length that overstayed its welcome, the difficulty curve was right where it needed to be and most of the tweaks that had been made to the PS2 formulary were good ones.

FPS players feel better after dying than after killing others, say researchers

An article in the February issue of the journal Emotion presents some strange findings regarding players' emotional reactions to killing and being killed in a first-person shooter (FPS). Conventional FPS wisdom would suggest that players like shooting enemies and dislike getting shot. The research findings, however, paint a different picture.

Game of the Years

This year, one game stood head and shoulders above all the others, the chasm in quality between it and even its nearest competition was such a yawning chasm that it would take 8-12 Batmobiles to vault across it. Which game was it? Discover within...
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